Friday Fun Victorian Style

Fashions today change as quickly as gas prices–or so it seems.

The Victorian women were no strangers to style fluctuations. I find it amazing how slow communication was but how rapidly a certain look could become replaced by another.

Let’s have some fun and see how much you know about Victorian women’s attire.

Following are five photos depicting different periods of women’s clothing during the Victorian era. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (do you hear the Mission Impossible theme playing? :-)) is to list the women’s (fictional) names in the correct order.

Don’t worry about dates or descriptions of the various periods. All I’m after is a list of five names in the order you think the outfits appeared in history, from oldest to most recent.

You could, of course, get the info you need from the Internet, but let’s agree that you’ll give Google a break, will resist rushing to your reference library, and will make your best guess. I’ll give you a hint that might prove helpful. Think of the period movies you’ve watched.

And now, here are the lovely “models” from yesteryear. . .






Have fun guessing!

I’ll update the post over the weekend to include the answer, so you could check back Monday. I’ll also provide a link to this post at the end of next Friday’s quiz. If you view that post, you’ll be able to click the link and see which of the choices above is the correct one.

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Update and Answer

Thanks to the many who read the post and to those who left a guess.

Here’s the order of the “models” in chronological order ~

Jade – in the full hoop skirt of the first half of the 1860s

Opal – with soft bustle of the mid 1860s to the mid 1870s

Pearl – with hard “shelf” bustle of the mid 1880s

Ruby – in a tailored suit-style dress that appeared in the early 1890s

Coral – with the extra-large leg of mutton sleeves of the mid 1890s

Note that the appearance of the tailored suit and the “puffy” sleeves occurred close to the same time. The reason “Ruby” comes before “Pearl” is that the leg of mutton sleeves shown are the extremely exaggerated version that was reached around 1895. The leg of mutton sleeves that came on the scene at the beginning of the decade, when tailored suits such as “Ruby’s” were making their way into fashion, were quite a bit smaller.

• • •

I’ve updated the Friday Fun post from last week. Click the link to see the answer.

My debut novel is featured today in an Author Alert at Relz Reviews. Book reviewer Rel asked me to share a blurb and one of my favorite passages.

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The royalty-free photographs above are from Victorian Women’s Fashion Photos, a book and CD-ROM of electronic clip art published by Dover and are used by permission.

About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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14 Responses to Friday Fun Victorian Style

  1. Oh my goodness, this is difficult! If I had to guess, I would order them:

    Jade, Opal, Pearl, Coral, Ruby

    I’m sure that’s not right, but it was a fun guess! I’m heading over to Relz!

  2. Jade, Opal, Pearl, Coral and Ruby … by their excess of dress and their manner. Okay, now on to your book 🙂

  3. Yikes…ok, here goes!

    Jade, Opal, Pearl, Coral, Ruby

  4. Ruby, Opal, Jade, Coral, Pearl

    Yay! Fun! One of these days, I’m going to win! LOL

  5. Jade (1860’s?), Opal (1870′?), Pearl (1880’s), Ruby (1890-1900?) & Coral (1910’s?)

    Love it, Keli!! I am going to steal these images for my Pinterest boards (if you’ll let me!) – I have boards for the 1840’s, 1850’s, & 1860’s right now – I’ll have to add boards for the other periods now. Looking forward to seeing if I am even close here! Happy Friday. By the way, I’ve been very much enjoying your excitement for your upcoming book. What an amazing experience.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Gabrielle, I don’t understand the legalities of “pinning” images on Pinterest. I worked for a publishing company in the past and, for that reason, am sensitive to copyright issues, having been on the other side of the desk, so to speak. That’s why I’m not on Pinterest at this point and won’t be until I resolve this issue in my own mind. It is a tricky one, I admit.

      I purchased the book and CD and have permission to use the images on my site but not to share them with others. Each of us has to make our own decisions regarding the use of images online. Those I’ve shared here are awesome. I posted the link to the book they came from, which is chock full of wonderful photos like these, should someone want to purchase it. That’s the best answer I can give.

  6. Jade, Opal, Pearl, Coral, Ruby. I went with dress size from most fabric to least. Good thing you don’t have a fashion model from 2012 😉

  7. Susan Mason says:

    My guess is Opal, Jade, Pearl, Cora and Ruby!

    From everyone else’s answers I may have the first two mixed up!

    Great pictures, Keli!


  8. Carla Gade says:

    Jade, Opal, Pearl, Coral, Ruby ~ such lovelies! Will have to head over to Rel’s!

  9. jeanniecampbell says:

    i’m going to be contrary…..

    Opal, Jade, Pearl, Coral, and Ruby.

  10. Marji Laine says:

    No I didn’t look at any of the other comments:

    My guess is Jade, Opal, Pearl, Coral, Ruby

  11. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who visited the post and took time to respond to the quiz. I’ve updated the post to show the answer.

  12. Pingback: Friday Fun Victorian Style | Keli Gwyn's Blog

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